Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ideas don't grow on trees

There needs to be a store that has packets of idea seeds in the backroom. What? You seriously thought it'd be out in the open... I still want to maintain my writer status and not have everyone stealing our ideas. No, this would be the elite (meaning any writer who reads this blog).

I'd go home, plant them, and watch my fabulous idea tree grow. It'd be marvelous on days I'd run low!

Too bad that's not realistic.

So how does one come back with ideas? What are your  little quirks that you do when saying good-bye to an old story and starting new?

I buy notebooks. The prettiest ones I can find so when inspiration strikes it gets the best of the best. I think drown myself in chick flicks, starting with the oldies (but goodies) like While You Were Sleeping and Sleepless in Seattle, then I move to more recent ones like The Proposal.

I then dive into new chick lits/women's fiction to see what the world of publishing is pushing on to it's fabulous and devoted readers. It is then the ideas normally flow... but during this season I'll drink apple cider for added inspiration.

What about you? What brings the ideas out in you? Is it all superstition?

27 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

I'm not an ideas person. I rarely get them, but when I do, it's party time! And they happen out of the blue when I'm least expecting it. Such as when I'm in the middle of burning my dinner and unable to leave to write it down :-/

Lindsay N. Currie said...

I have a hard time coming up with ideas. Usually, they are bits and pieces of bigger pictures I have to put together and sometimes they are things I dreamed.

Anne Gallagher said...

My ideas are hard to come by. Usually happens when I'm not doing anything. Like the other night, I was minding my own business washing the dishes and a commercial came on. Lo and behold, a stupid commercial gave me a really interesting idea. I wrote it down, not that I'll do anything with it right now, but it's nice to have.

April said...

Yay! I'm elite! Can't wait to see the tree! :) Anyway, not sure where my ideas or inspirations come from. They just do. I haven't had to go looking...yet.

Joanne said...

For me, it's all about real life. Things, situations, experiences that I feel, or overhear, or watch, all inspire my stories. It all stems from everyday reality.

Lindsay said...

I tend to get a lot of ideas from dreams. Then I write them down and see which one I want to run with the most.

Superstition wise, I prefer to write a first draft before my CP's read it/crit it. The first draft is always for me :)

Amy Saia said...

I seem to get them in clusters, but not every idea sparks as much as the next. I have to get the feeling that I will want to work with it for a long time.

Sarah Pearson said...

I'd like a cutting from your ideas tree please :-)

LynnRush said...

My ideas come from random places. I love sitting in airports (which I'll be doing later today) and people watching. I ask a lot of what if questions while watching people. But really, my ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. Just got to be open to them, then get them down in a notebook or a running word document (which I have) :)

Carolyn V said...

I'm thinking of putting my ms on the shelf for a few months. This was a great idea to get me started. Thanks Jen!

Miranda Hardy said...

I get ideas during research, or dreams. I log everything in a notebook or on the pc. I have a lot of ideas, but not enough time to get them out quickly.

Sarah Allen said...

If you ever find one of those kinds of trees, let me know.

I carry a notebook with me around everywhere and write down whatever comes to mind. Then when I need ideas I flip through and see what I've got. I usually start with a character that's kind of stuck in my head, and then develop a story around them.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Cynthia said...

I usually look at the work I just finsihed and see if there is something that sparks a new idea. It can be a character, a setting, anything. It that doesn't work, I look at the world around me, or older stories I have read and see if something pops up. It's ever changing, different every time.

Krista said...

Whenever I get an idea -for I try to write it down. Then when I start a new project I have all these little glimpses that could be the seeds of agreat story.

Michelle Merrill said...

Yumm...chick lit/women's fiction with some hot cider! That's what I'm talking about :) And you know how much I love While You Were Sleeping and Sleepless in Seattle! Right now is a great time for You've Got Mail too. Love the fall feeling of that movie.

When I need an idea, I usually let my mind wander in the impossible and think of a way to relate it to the reality. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

mshatch said...

I get ideas all the time - my computer has files littered with them. The trick is figuring out which ones are keepers :)

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

Ideas are part inspiration, but mostly perspiration for me. I often find the ideas I'm looking for while researching an unrelated topic for a different project.

Christa said...

it's so funny, I just read Elana's blog last week about coming up with 5 ideas per day and I was all 5 IDEAS???? What??? Who can do that?
But I guess when something comes to me, it comes to me and I go from there. I like to flesh them out some when I get them. So yeah, no idea tree for me either.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Usually movies spark ideas, but nothing has hit me lately. Need to go back and watch something epic.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I get maybe one or two ideas a year. I wish I was an ideas person! Would be nice to feel more inspired.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I don't know how I get ideas...all of a sudden something pops up in my head and then I go with it...

alexia said...

My ideas usually start with something random... from a dream or just something I think of. I'll type them up and keep them in a file to come back to later.

Oh, and I love While You Were Sleeping... so good!

Stacy Henrie said...

Love all three of those movies! For me my ideas are usually sparked by "what if" and "how would" questions. If I get a germ of an idea, I keep asking myself questions to help it grow.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I buy pretty notebooks, too. Something about starting by hand feels closer to the work.

Susanne Drazic said...

I have little pocket note pads that I keep in my purse, so when an idea strikes I can write it down. My husband and son have given me some ideas. I have a large jar that all my ideas get put into.

Elle Strauss said...

Right now I have more ideas than time to write them. Maybe someday I'll be on the search for a new idea, but that's awhile a way.

LTM said...

you know, I just never know. Sometimes it's movies, sometimes it's a song. Sometimes somebody'll say an unusual sentence and my imagination will take off... :D I like the tree idea. <3